LatinaLista — The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1. This Friday, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will hold a press conference releasing a new computer model simulation that shows there will be fewer hurricanes later in the century, but the ones that do form will be more intense.
Hurricane Katrina near peak strength on August 28, 2005
It is something that we are seeing already with the weather — starting with Katrina and ending with last week’s tornado rampage through several states that claimed over 20 lives.
It’s a safe bet that we won’t have to wait till the latter part of the 21st century to see these monster hurricanes scientists are predicting.
Of all the coastlines in the country, there are two that have always been the most vulnerable and have a greater risk of being hit than the rest of the country: Florida’s Atlantic coastline and the Gulf Coast coastline from Florida to Texas.
When these areas know they are in the path of destructive hurricanes, people are evacuated. Ã…fter Katrina, it was seen that everyone had the right to be moved out of the city and out of potential life-threatening harm.
Yet, in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, officials say that when the time comes to evacuate people only legal citizens will be allowed on the buses.
The Rio Grande Valley Guardian online news site reports that in the event of an evacuation in the area, people will be prescreened for citizenship before they are allowed on any of the fleet of school buses that will be used to transport the estimated 130,000 people who will need to be evacuated.
Those who are found to be undocumented will be taken by Customs and Border Patrol to “special areas” that are said to “withstand hurricanes.” Among these “special areas” used to detain the undocumented immigrants are Border Patrol facilities in Harlingen and Edinburgh.
Seeing that these Border Patrol facilities are of the brick/mortar/steel beam variety, unless they are built with some secret material that is classified, chances are they will provide little protection for the undocumented immigrants and any of the Border Patrol agents who pulled the short straw to stay behind and guard these people.
This would especially be true if the NOAA’s predictions that hurricanes will be more intense. We saw what happened with Katrina and Hurricane Andrew which destroyed the town of Homestead, Florida.
And even if a building withstands the 100+ mph winds, what building, not to mention people, can withstand rising floodwaters?
Needless to say, the decision to separate people based on citizenship is not only inhumane but it is foolhardy.
At the slightest chance that something were to happen to these people in these facilities, the United States would be the target of a global public relations fiasco. Our neighbors to the south would most probably start filing lawsuits on behalf of their citizens and the United Nations, with all its members, would definitely condemn the actions of the representatives who acted on behalf of the U.S. government.
The international reputation of the United States has already lost credibility, such an action as separating people based on citizenship in the face of an impending natural disaster, would obliterate any semblance of respect for the USA from it’s global colleagues.
If ever there was a case to force the issue: humanity or legality — this is it.